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Vaginal delivery does not equal Natural Childbirth - Page 5

post #81 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Where did I say that?


Sorry, I got posts confused. You did not say that another poster did



I think this is part of the issue. People have an emotional hang up that by saying a medicated birth does not mean natural birth, they react as if I am saying that it is somehow a poorer experience. That is not at all the case.


My definition is: Noun: natural childbirth 'nachurul 'chIld`burth
Labour and childbirth without medical intervention; no drugs are given to relieve pain or aid the birth process
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifescholar View Post
This is what I said:

and


I am not arguing that for your friend, her medicated birth felt MORE natural than her unmedicated, traumatizing one. I would not presume to tell another woman how she felt!!

But, the fact remains that if I was in her situation, I would not tell other people that my second birth was a "natural childbirth", because it wasn't.
I can agree that an epidural is un-natural, it is not something that naturally happens in birth, but why are some man-made additives accepted and others are not? Who gets to decided what additive should be allowed? According to my dictionary natural means - "in a state provided by nature, without man-made changes". How is using a plastic swimming pool to birth in a part of nature? With all the people here on MDC who are worried about their children drinking out of plastic cups or playing with plastic toys I am always shocked how many have no issues with plastic swimming pools to give birth in. How about a plastic birth ball, that is a man-made additive. And those things can be dangerous too. Or maybe I'm just clumsy, because I can't balance on one to save my life.

Going back to the natural food example, if you add anything at all the my fruits and veggies that does not occur naturally while they are growing, then they are not truly natural. They are still fresh fruits and veggies but with some man-made additives to assist with the growing process. So it seems to me that most people, even here on MDC, do not have a truly natural birth. They have a vaginal birth with man-made additives (heating pads, plastic swimming pools-natural hot springs are just not convienient are they , birth balls, even an epidural) to help deal with the pain of childbirth. That is why I do not like the terms natural or normal, and I like to use more specific words to describe the birth process. This is already done some here at MDC. Using the term unassisted home birth instead of just home birth. Doing this makes sure that everyone is aware of the type of birth, I don't see why it should be so hard to do this with all births. But if someone wants to call their birth un-natural, it's not going to bother me at all. It's your birth, call it what you want but let other people do the same.

And as a side note, two years ago the day before Thanksgiving I was recoving from my totally un-natural, slightly traumatic, surgical birth experience. It still seems like yesterday. I can't believe my baby is turning two!
post #82 of 164
Thread Starter 
I'm not defining the word natural by itself. I'm defining a term, Natural Childbirth.

I understand that there are grey areas for people. But I've given my definition, and one that I think many would agree with. Throwing things out like "Oh what are the materials a birth pool is made of, shouldn't it only be natural if it's in a pond? are really just silly and/or baiting questions.
post #83 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I'm not defining the word natural by itself. I'm defining a term, Natural Childbirth.

I understand that there are grey areas for people. But I've given my definition, and one that I think many would agree with. Throwing things out like "Oh what are the materials a birth pool is made of, shouldn't it only be natural if it's in a pond? are really just silly and/or baiting questions.

I'm sorry if I came off as bating or silly, but I am really trying to understand how you decided which man-made, modern, synthetic additives are okay in a natural birth. I for one would not be okay with sitting in a plastic swimming pool while giving birth. It would bother me and feel un-natural, but if someone else does that and it helps them deal with the pain then I have no problem with them calling it a natural birth. Same with an epi, I would not be comfortable having a needle stuck in my spine, but if someone else decides to use that pain relieving method and call it a natural birth, it won't bother me at all.
I have a birthday party to plan, so I probably won't be back to this thead. But I still think it will be impossible to define natural childbirth because there are waaay too many gray areas.
post #84 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
I'm not defining the word natural by itself. I'm defining a term, Natural Childbirth.

I understand that there are grey areas for people. But I've given my definition, and one that I think many would agree with. Throwing things out like "Oh what are the materials a birth pool is made of, shouldn't it only be natural if it's in a pond? are really just silly and/or baiting questions.
I agree. I think making those kinds of added and somewhat irrelevant distinctions take away from the pertinent part of the discussion. And destroy any possible value or useful definition of the term.

We have a forum here called "Natural Family Living." People are able to understand what that means and participate without living without clothing, shelter, or any other "man-made" assistance in wild lands. In fact, the forum wouldn't work but for people having computers for communication. And yet, it still has a place, a purpose, a meaning, and could be roughly defined. I think suggesting you have to be buck naked and living without anything man-made in order to have the "Natural Family Living" forum mean anything would clearly defeat its purpose.

I think the term "natural childbirth" will have somewhat differing meanings for different people. However, I think it's helpful to consider other terms, like "unmedicated childbirth" or "induced birth" or "surgical birth" to help describe various forms of birth. To me, natural childbirth means minimal intervention and no drugs (epi, IV, pitocin, cervadil, etc.). I don't totally understand how effective black/blue cohosh is or if it changes the nature of contractions, but if it does, I'm not sure I'd call that a natural childbirth, either - because then we're talking about substantially altering the birth experience from its normal progression.

I do call my birth a "NCB." If I had had more interventions but no pain medication, and didn't really consider it NCB, I'd call it "unmedicated." As it was, the only intervention was being sewed up after the birth and being coached (though I mostly ignored it) during pushing.

I agree with pps that said the object is to come up with a relatively objective definition of natural childbirth, and not to agree that it's purely subjective and therefore could mean anything (sure, you can think about it that way, but it renders the term meaningless as a descriptor).
post #85 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
I'm sorry if I came off as bating or silly, but I am really trying to understand how you decided which man-made, modern, synthetic additives are okay in a natural birth. I for one would not be okay with sitting in a plastic swimming pool while giving birth. It would bother me and feel un-natural, but if someone else does that and it helps them deal with the pain then I have no problem with them calling it a natural birth. Same with an epi, I would not be comfortable having a needle stuck in my spine, but if someone else decides to use that pain relieving method and call it a natural birth, it won't bother me at all.
I have a birthday party to plan, so I probably won't be back to this thead. But I still think it will be impossible to define natural childbirth because there are waaay too many gray areas.
Firstly I never said that anything was "okay" or "not okay" this is a thread about defining a term, not about applying value or judgment to birth choices.

Secondly I gave a definition a few times, did you read it?
post #86 of 164
Thought this was interesting:

Quote:
Normal birth is almost never an option in hospitals. Listening to Mothers II, a national survey of U.S. women having hospital births in 2005, reported that at most 2% of them received all six care practices Lamaze International, based on World Health Organization recommendations, deems supportive of “normal” birth.20 Virtually all women laboring in hospitals will be exposed to procedures, drugs, and restrictions that research shows to be harmful, ineffective, and usually both with routine or frequent use, and in some cases, with any use at all.5, 34 Here is a partial list together with the percentage of women in the survey having that procedure or practice:

* 35% induction for non-medical reasons: Many would also have been induced for discredited medical reasons such as the baby is predicted to be larger than average
* 60% nothing by mouth
* 83% IV drip
* 93% continuous electronic fetal monitoring
* 59% rupture of membranes
* 75% confinement to bed in labor
* (not reported) preset time limits for making progress in dilation or pushing
* 57% unphysiologic pushing positions
* 79% unphysiologic pushing techniques
* 17% fundal pressure (pressing on the mother’s belly to help expel the baby)
* 25% episiotomy
Quote:
It is not logical to use what may have been a necessary cesarean as an argument for routine intervention. Intervening may be required in some cases, and some interventions such as cesarean section have been made safer, but this hardly justifies routine or frequent use. One might as well say that improved equipment and techniques for rescuing people from burning buildings makes tossing accelerant on the fire or starting the fire yourself a good idea. As an article on the Childbirth Connection website states: “All mothers should have access to safest vaginal birth practices. We should not expect them to choose between vaginal birth with avoidable harms and cesarean section.”
From Dr. Michel Odent:

Quote:
How would you define "normal" birth?

The term 'normal' is useless when applied to birth. In 'normal' there is a cultural connotation. A birth can be considered normal in Rome, but not in Santa Fe. It is only in retrospect that a birth can be qualified 'normal' (the same about 'natural'). What we need today is to qualify an attitude. That is why I suggested the concept of 'biodynamic attitude in childbirth'. A biodynamic attitude (in farming, in childbirth, etc.) is based on a good understanding of the physiological processes. In other words it means: working with the laws of Nature.
post #87 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Firstly I never said that anything was "okay" or "not okay" this is a thread about defining a term, not about applying value or judgment to birth choices.

Secondly I gave a definition a few times, did you read it?

Yes I read your definition. You think that using medication during birth makes in un-natural, but other man-made modern pain relieving options are okay with you. My personal definition is that the natural way to birth a baby is for it to come out the vagina, it is up to the mother's discretion to determine which pain relieving options she is comfortable with including in a natural birth. What may appear to be un-natural to me (a swimming pool birth or hypsosis of any kind in my case) may be perfectly natural to someone else.
post #88 of 164
Most people I know still don't equate vaginal with natural.

However, most people I know do beleive that an unmedicated hospital birth counts as natural childbirth.

Which leads me to wonder - is the extreme notion of "if it was vaginal, it was natural," a mirror image, or a flipside, or a result, or somehow a partner of .... the equally extreme notion of "if you birthed in the hospital, or even had any attendants at all, your birth was not natural."

Definitions that are a long way off in either direction from the "median definition," tend to be thought of in much the same way - and the existence of definitions at one end of that continuum seems to almost encourage definitions at the other end.

I'm just musing about semantics here. I'm not arguing that anyone doesn't get to define "natural childbirth" for themselves in whatever way makes the most sense to them.

(My disclosure: I consider both my births natural. I went into labor myself both times, labored without medication, was attended by CNMs in a hospital setting, but left alone with in a dim room in a warm deep, tub. No one cut me, suggested my labor needed augmenting, or told me how to push. I'm pretty satisfied, all around, with both experiences - but I know I was lucky in the hospital that was available to me, and that having a natural birth is much harder/impossible in many hospitals.)
post #89 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post


(My disclosure: I consider both my births natural. I went into labor myself both times, labored without medication, was attended by CNMs in a hospital setting, but left alone with in a dim room in a warm deep, tub. No one cut me, suggested my labor needed augmenting, or told me how to push. I'm pretty satisfied, all around, with both experiences - but I know I was lucky in the hospital that was available to me, and that having a natural birth is much harder/impossible in many hospitals.)
Sounds like a dream compared to my hospital.
post #90 of 164
Quote:
However, most people I know do believe that an unmedicated hospital birth counts as natural childbirth.
So, referring to my post in #27, does that equal a natural birth because it is unmedicated even though it is a caesarean?
post #91 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
does that equal a natural birth because it is unmedicated even though it is a caesarean?
Uhhhh....they don't do c-sections without meds.
post #92 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
I said this in the other thread we had about this topic. I am very happy that my hospital did not define "natural childbirth" as 'any birth where the baby exits through the vagina'. Because they defined natural childbirth as intervention free/drug free, we had an immediate understanding. I never had to talk about pain medication and I was never asked...it was understood that when I said I wanted to have a natural childbirth that meant don't ask me questions about pain meds and the like.

I feel that it would have made me very uncomfortable and upset if I enterred a hospital with a definition of 'natural childbirth' being 'comes out the vagina.' Not only would I have had to field questions about medication (something I know would have planted the idea in my head-- ya know, kinda like back in college when my then boyfriend now Dh would say 'lets skip class' and that idea would be in my head and i would skip! )...but also I would have been uptight and worried about section pushing and other intervention pushing.


So that is why I feel I like to have the definition.
Now that would be useful: some kind of "natural childbirth - friendly" tag for hospitals.

I guess i consider natural childbirth to exclude at minimum

pharmacutical, surgical or tequnical(procedures like arom) inductions (herbals, nipple stimulation, walking etc ok)
pharmacutical pain relievers (water, massage ok - hypnosis i'm not sure about)

and to include vaginal delivery


and preferably to include

optimal labor and delivery positions, directed by the mothers wishes
the golden hour where baby is not separated from mom for an hour after birth
for weighing and whatever
unrestricted diet durng labor and delivery

and to exclude
directed pushing
vaginal exams
the fetal momnitor


ftr my 1st birth was induced and double epi-ed (epidural and episiotomy) and they didn't even ask me about the episiotomy, i wasn't allowed to eat from the time i went to the hospital until dd was born some 20+ hours later. (i went way too early b/c my ob told me to)

my 2nd birth the only intervention i had was an episiotomy and the mw at least asked, she went ahead and did it anyway b/c i didn't say no...i said "ummmm....", that and the vaginal exam they talked me into upon arrival at the hospital, and the directed pushing.....

a rating system would be useful though
post #93 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Interestingly enough that all fits into my definition as well. I think I just make the exception in MY birth. Because I did have a hep lock, which didn't interfere with anything but it was there. And I did push her out while on my back in a bed. And the OB (whom I love) was so strange looking in his protective gear, he looked more like he was prepared for a space walk than for catching a baby. So I call my birth and unmedicated hospital birth. But I don't actually correct anyone else who calls it natural. I would correct them for my first birth though, I had an epidural for the pain.

Even though I started this thread I would never tell any woman her birth was unnatural. I just feel here at MDC is a good place to discuss the rapid growth in medical intervention in Birth. Something that for thousands of years was so much more, I don't know, basic? Has become so very complicated. So much so that it has confused the definition of Natural Birth. I still like the definition I found and quoted in the OP best.
With DD I don't say I had a natural birth I say I had an unmedicated birth. I don't even like to say I had an induction, it was induced by cervadil only, because people assume that means I had pitocin during labor. I don't know that I have ever used the term natural birth. Most people I would think consider unmedicated to mean without pain meds. With DS I just say I had a home birth. I had one person ask if my midwife gave me pain meds at home and that surprised me a little but explained no.

I had a friend go through 11 hours of what appeared to me to be horrendously painful posterior labor that ended in an epidural and eventually a c-section. She doesn't tell people she was unmedicated even though I tell her she needs to give herself more credit. I would consider that a bigger deal than my easy peasy 5 hour births. Heck she was in PAIN for one birth longer than I was with two unmedicated ones .
post #94 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by felix23 View Post
I'm sorry if I came off as bating or silly, but I am really trying to understand how you decided which man-made, modern, synthetic additives are okay in a natural birth. I for one would not be okay with sitting in a plastic swimming pool while giving birth. It would bother me and feel un-natural, but if someone else does that and it helps them deal with the pain then I have no problem with them calling it a natural birth. Same with an epi, I would not be comfortable having a needle stuck in my spine, but if someone else decides to use that pain relieving method and call it a natural birth, it won't bother me at all.
I have a birthday party to plan, so I probably won't be back to this thead. But I still think it will be impossible to define natural childbirth because there are waaay too many gray areas.
I would say that the line to draw with man made interfearence is whether or not it is invasive or changes things. Does that make sense? Like using a heating pad isn't really going to change your labor per se but having an epidural can, i.e. stalling of labor, inability to feel birthing sensations etc.
post #95 of 164
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lyttlewon View Post
With DD I don't say I had a natural birth I say I had an unmedicated birth. I don't even like to say I had an induction, it was induced by cervadil only, because people assume that means I had pitocin during labor. I don't know that I have ever used the term natural birth. Most people I would think consider unmedicated to mean without pain meds. With DS I just say I had a home birth. I had one person ask if my midwife gave me pain meds at home and that surprised me a little but explained no.

I had a friend go through 11 hours of what appeared to me to be horrendously painful posterior labor that ended in an epidural and eventually a c-section. She doesn't tell people she was unmedicated even though I tell her she needs to give herself more credit. I would consider that a bigger deal than my easy peasy 5 hour births. Heck she was in PAIN for one birth longer than I was with two unmedicated ones .
I know what you mean, I had an epidural for my first birth. After 30 hours of labor, 14 hours of which were really strong heavy, like transition type contractions I asked for the epidural. If anyone asks how long my labor with my first was I will sometimes say 34 hours, the first 30 I did drug free.
post #96 of 164
Quote:
Like using a heating pad isn't really going to change your labor per se but having an epidural can, i.e. stalling of labor, inability to feel birthing sensations etc.
yeah, but I've read MANY birth stories where the tub stalled out labor.

I guess my question is, why should someone care what someone else's definition of natural is? I'm all for informed, educated decisions, empowering decisions, but I'm about what's healthiest and best for mom and baby in any given situation, which is not always (but often) what's most natural.

fwiw, whenever anyone in this VERY heavy epidural area says "She went natural" they mean no pain relief. Except for when they say "Did you have a c-section or natural?" in which case I say vaginal.
post #97 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
yeah, but I've read MANY birth stories where the tub stalled out labor.
Well, all the mama has to do is climb out of the water. When labor stalls due to epidural, it's a straight ticket to the most "unnatural" birth of them all in the OR. There's no other choice (unless you're blessed with a gem of an OB!).

I see your point, really I do. But I think there's a difference between non-invasive pain relief and harmful interventions that always seem to stack up on top of each other like some kind of sadistic Jenga tower that's going to fall over and crush the birth completely.

I just read this entire thread at 3 a.m., and here is my definition of "natural birth": one that takes place without any medical interference that could halt the body's instinctual desires.

A heating pad isn't going to immobilize a laboring mom and dangle the threat of a C-section over her head, but an epidural will. And once you get the drugs, there's no turning back - however, you can stop using any "natural" kind of pain relief anytime you want: just tell DH to quit shoving those hot washcloths against your perineum. Get my drift?
post #98 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by bri276 View Post
I guess my question is, why should someone care what someone else's definition of natural is?
Because when I am on a parenting board talking about birth I want people to know what I am talking about. I tell people I was induced and they think pitocin and forget (or don't know) you can induce labor and not use pitocin. So it does make a difference when conveying information the type of words that you use and the definition.
post #99 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootpoetry View Post
Well, all the mama has to do is climb out of the water. When labor stalls due to epidural, it's a straight ticket to the most "unnatural" birth of them all in the OR. There's no other choice (unless you're blessed with a gem of an OB!).

I see your point, really I do. But I think there's a difference between non-invasive pain relief and harmful interventions that always seem to stack up on top of each other like some kind of sadistic Jenga tower that's going to fall over and crush the birth completely.

I just read this entire thread at 3 a.m., and here is my definition of "natural birth": one that takes place without any medical interference that could halt the body's instinctual desires.

A heating pad isn't going to immobilize a laboring mom and dangle the threat of a C-section over her head, but an epidural will. And once you get the drugs, there's no turning back - however, you can stop using any "natural" kind of pain relief anytime you want: just tell DH to quit shoving those hot washcloths against your perineum. Get my drift?
yes that I what I mean. When I was done with the tub and my "natural" instinct told me to get out of the water I was able to. If I had a little birdy on my shoulder telling me I shouldn't have gotten an epidural I couldn't turn back. When I was in my birth pool something inside of me demanded I needed to birth somewhere else. I think that is a lot of the natural part of birth. When I was in the hospital, unmedicated, and my body was telling me to do something different there wasn't much I could do. I was in there for the long haul.
post #100 of 164
Quote:
Originally Posted by barefootpoetry View Post
Well, all the mama has to do is climb out of the water. When labor stalls due to epidural, it's a straight ticket to the most "unnatural" birth of them all in the OR. There's no other choice (unless you're blessed with a gem of an OB!).

<snip>

And once you get the drugs, there's no turning back - however, you can stop using any "natural" kind of pain relief anytime you want:
This doesn't fit the stories I've heard. It's usually epidural -> pitocin, and then sometimes a c-section, but not usually straight to c-section. I also have friends who've had drugs turned off during labor in hospitals, after a bit of a fight, so these interventions aren't totally irreversible.
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